Our current situation, though frightening in many respects, has a silver lining for me, at least in the area of my health. Since Feb. 1, I have lost 40 lbs. This weight loss is on top of the 80 pounds that took me a few years to lose.
However, after losing 80 lbs, I was stagnant for a couple of years until recently. I had the gym membership, treadmill, and a wife who regularly cooked me healthy meals. But still no change. The pandemic has given me an opportunity to use it for a retreat to allow God to move in this area in my life.
I want to explain how I am doing it.
You have probably heard dramatic weight loss stories before. After all, the internet is replete with excellent weight loss stories that include the person’s before and after pictures and the story about how the dramatic weight loss was achieved. For me, I still have a ways to go to meet my goal. So the pictures above represent my “before” picture, before I lost 120 lbs. Hopefully, by the Fall, I can share my “after” picture.
My story begins early in life. I come from a working-class family that was committed to a high carb diet. My daily diet included cereal with added sugar, pop tarts, hamburgers, hot dogs, and for supper, meat potatoes, and the ever-popular, mac-n-cheese. Eating vegetables was not a part of my diet.
My early diet created eating habits and sinful cravings that would plague me for years. In short, I had become a slave to carbs and sugar. Despite being an excellent athlete in school, when I entered adulthood, my weight began to increase.
Weight is something I have struggled with most of my adult life. Before my first wife died, I had lost about 30 lbs over a period of years. After she died, I lost 50 more pounds. However, there was much room for improvement.
When I met Monica, I had already lost about 80 lbs, but I wanted to drop much more. During our courtship, she said something to me one day, that closed the deal regarding if we would marry or not. She said she considered it her ministry to ensure her family would eat healthily.
For the first year and a half, I ate healthier but didn’t lose weight. My blood pressure and sugar levels didn’t improve much, either.
Then the pandemic hit, and that is when things changed. I considered it God’s timing for me to seek change in this area.
I ate everything Monica fixed, consulted with a doctor that specializes in preventive medicine, and took supplements every day.
Two game-changers happened. The first was I stopped dieting. I know the statement sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true. I now eat not primarily for pleasure but to glorify God. The Bible encourages us to glorify God with our eating (I Cor. 10:31). Since I have to eat daily, I need to glorify God every day with my diet.
Second, I eat for medicinal purposes. I don’t just need to cut my caloric intake, but also make sure my body is getting all the nutrients it needs.
The result has been phenomenal. I have lost 40 more pounds, and my blood pressure is a consistent 120/80, and my sugar level is inching toward normal. I look forward to seeing what God will do as a result of this new commitment.
What is the area in your life that God wants to move in to bring about significant change during this confinement? Before you answer, ask God first. It is probably in an area that you have resisted change in the past. Let me encourage you to use this opportunity as a retreat so God can move in your life too.
Tim Orr is an award-winning adjunct professor, inspirational writer, and speaker who glorifies God through adversity. He is the author of We Named Her Faith: How We Became a Gospel-Centered Family, Islam Rising: How the Christian College can Equip the Next Generation, and Letters to My Daughter: The Story of How One Family Overcame Tragedy and Loss. and for twelve years he has taught religious studies at Indiana University–Purdue University Columbus. Orr has appeared on Stu Taylor’s nationally syndicated program Stu Taylor on Business and has shared his story on The 700 Club. His greatest joy in life is being a husband to Monica and father to Faith and Carlos.